I know I tweeted this earlier, but I must reiterate that SXSW is a magical place. And not just because of the amazing assortment of musical options. Things just happen here that don’t happen anywhere else. Today was a prime example, full of surprise after joyous surprise. A day when everything I wanted just sort of came to be…
This morning after checking out some music from The Sheepdogs and Pujol at The Rachael Ray party at Stubb’s, we opted not to wait in the line for food. We caught a cab to Cedar Street where we saw a couple Norwegian bands and sipped on cranberry ginger ale mixed drinks. My first “must see” of the day was BOY at Peckerhead’s (on the other side of town) and I found myself in want of two things, a ride and some food. As soon as I put that out in the universe, the magic of SXSW responded. First, the ride. I happened across a bar on wheels. I stopped to take a picture and ended up getting a lift up the street…on a bar… Walking down sixth, I passed a sign at Maggie Mae’s that indicated a band called The Falls was about to play. I had some extra time (due to the lift) and the band was on my “to see” list, so I decided to walk in. Inside the venue, people were walking around with plates of food. Turned out, there was free BBQ upstairs! And there I had it, a ride and some food! SXSW wishes granted!
The second thing I really wanted to do today was discover some new music. I did manage to catch some of my favorites like the aforementioned BOY and The Neighbourhood as well as the always entertaining Willy Moon and an encore set by my first SXSW discovery of the year, Moon Taxi (for this, there was dancing), but it seemed like most every other act I saw for the first time was a fantastic new musical discovery. The original plan was to see Bernhoft after BOY, but I was informed he was sick so I went back to Maggie Mae’s where I saw my favorite discovery of the day, Aussie singer Jack Carty, as well as a few songs from another promising band called Georgia Fair. I only left Maggie’s to go check out a band recommendation, Super Water Sympathy who were also impressive (and had bubbles!).
For dinner, I ate the rest of my Australian pie from the BBQ (yes, I carried that one in my bag all day) and some spring rolls from the Thai place Amanda wanted to try. Post dinner sampling included Cave Paintings, Bronze Radio Return (who foresquare informed me I had seen before?) and Dessa who played a set at The Blind Pig right after the surprise guest of the Mackelmore (seriously that guy is everywhere).
The evening was centered around the third thing I really wanted to do today which was my most anticipated, can’t miss big show. While others were waiting in ginormous lines to try to see Prince, Justin Timberlake, or The Smashing Pumpkins (all playing tonight), I was all abuzz at The VEVO TV Control Room anxiously awaiting the final set of my British rockers, Leogun. And let me tell you, it was exactly what I wished for. It was the longest set I’ve seen the band do and included a couple songs I had not heard live (including the elusive “Drunk Enough”). I was able to get two of my friends to experience the band for the first time and the audience, including kilt-wearing men dressed in green for St. Patty’s day, all seemed to be having a blast. I snatched the set list, got it authenticated, and briefly chatted with the LG crew before taking off to start the long journey home.
One final stop at Cedar Street for a couple Frank Turner tunes at The Revival Tour and we walked back to the hotel contemplating the beauty that is SXSW. I am already counting down the days until next year.